Toronto Sun

In McKechnie’s 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers — eight of them full-time — L.A. won five titles, in large part because he was able to extend the prime years of Shaquille O’Neal’s career.

Despite signing a $3 billion U.S. TV deal, the Lakers oddly cheaped out this summer, which gave McKechnie an opportunity to head elsewhere when old friend Jay Triano came calling.

The former Raptors head coach now a special assistant to Colangelo goes back 30 years with McKechnie, to when both men were at Simon Fraser University (McKechnie emigrated to British Columbia from Scotland in 1974).

Triano was just phoning to say hello, but it evolved into a coup for the Raptors.

“Jay called me on an unrelated incident … my contract was up in L.A. so he asked me if I was interested,” McKechnie said.

“I came here and met with (Colangelo) and was very, very impressed by the whole scene. It’s a wonderful place to be and I just see the organization as being very proactive, extremely aggressive in going in the right direction. From a personal standpoint, it was not a lateral move, it was very much an upward move.”

For Triano, getting McKechnie on-board was a no-brainer, if possible.

“He’s a great guy who is respected by players around the league and I think it’s great for our organization,” Triano said.

“When you can have a guy like that it gives credibility. He’s going to put his stamp on things for sure.”

Raptors forward James Johnson says that has already happened.

“He’s one of the biggest reasons why our guys have brought such a great, professional attitude to the team,” Johnson said.

“I feel like just the technology he brings and the brain he brings that we never had before just really shows that we’re going to be professionals.”

Wily Mo Moonshot

5. Toronto Raptors:

If Andrea Bargnani is your best player, you probably suck.  The bright side here is that Demar DeRozan took a big step forward last year and should take another this year and Ed Davis should begin to break out as well.  Jerryd Bayless should be starting over Jose Calderon, but he probably won’t. The Raptors will still have one game this year when they inexplicably beat the Celtics by like 15 points.  This happens every year.

Breakout player: Ed Davis

The Orange Fox

Toronto – Pretty clearly the choice for the bottom of this division. When Andrea Bargnani is your top scorer, you know there’s a lot of room for improvement. The bottom of the Eastern conference is really bad, and the Raptors may be the worst.

Boom Shakalaka!

TORONTO RAPTORS – In the mist of a rebuilding phase, the Raptors have a team that seems to be going nowhere and just doesn’t click. They will hope that their Draft pick Jonas Valanciunas can further improve himself while overseas and come to the NBA as quickly as possible, while their biggest loss during the lockout was Sonny Weems who left for Europe and doesn’t appear to be coming back.  Other than big man Andrea Bargnani and the athletic shooter in Demar Derozan, Toronto will have to spend another cold, raw winter with a lame basketball team that appears to be going nowhere. Oh and I would like to mention that Toronto is the first North American city to put on 3D ads on their court, video of that will come soon and it’s pretty wild to see. That’s how important basketball is in Toronto, talking about ads…

WONC Sports

Things to be optimistic about: Demar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani aren’t bad as the top talent. The bench is full of a good mix of youngsters and veterans who can contribute.

Things to be pessimistic about: Bargnani and DeRozan are probably not going to get better; they’re better served as number 3 options on contenders. Also, the team probably should ante up and resign Reggie Evans, a man who was the teams top rebounder last season and without whom the Raptors have the softest frontcourt in the NBA.

Overall: The Raptors need to blow this thing up and start over around Jonas Valenciunas and whatever nice building block the get from the 2012 draft. For this season, the Raptors don’t look like they’ll be much of a threat.

JT’s Hoops Blog

To top it all off, Colangelo committed a major coup by signing one of NBA’s most sought after coaches in the off season, former Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey.  Casey has a reputation as a defensive coach who won and NBA title while working for Dallas last season.  As a head coach, he kept an aging Minnesota Timberwolves team lacking in talent respectable until he was unjustly ousted by Wolves GM at the time, Kevin McHale.  By his own admission, Casey would certainly agree that he has more talent in Toronto than he ever had in Minnesota.  With the hiring of Casey and the quiet yet strong acquisitions, Toronto will look to bounce back from that lack luster season and shock the basketball world.  If the past preseason games against the Celtics are a preview of what is come, the Raptors will definitely be a force to reckon with this upcoming season.  

National Post

The widespread belief is what he will witness this year will be brutal. In the second year of the post-Chris Bosh era, the Raptors are essentially starting anew by doing very little new. The coach has changed, with Dwane Casey and his defensive focus aboard. As for the players, they are pretty much the same crew that delivered a 22-60 record last year.

Instead of chasing a free agent who could do much to alter that, Colangelo signed three players nearing the end of their careers (Jamaal Magloire, Rasual Butler and Anthony Carter) and two 20-somethings with no history of significant NBA success (Aaron Gray and Gary Forbes). Instead of drafting a marquee college player such as Kemba Walker to ignite a tired, beaten-down fan base, Colangelo selected Lithuanian centre Jonas Valanciunas with the No. 5 pick in the June draft. The centre cannot come to the Raptors until next year because of a pre-existing contract.

“Clearly there were players on the board that would have yielded instant gratification, or more potential instant gratification,” Colangelo said. “But this is about a long-term pick, and it clearly is the right long-term pick.”

For Colangelo’s Raptors, this is a major sea change. Bosh was a significant enough piece, in Colangelo’s eyes, to try to build around. He went from one extreme (defensive-minded centre O’Neal) to another (playmaking forward Turkoglu) in an attempt to do so, and he certainly failed in the process. But he felt as if he were only one move away from legitimate contention.

Obviously, the lack of a franchise fulcrum has been the biggest factor in changing that mindset, but it is not the only one. Truly competing for a championship now requires a sturdier foundation, something more than Bosh and parts ever could have been.

The NBA is full of teams with multiple superstars, and there is no shortcut to acquiring those types of players if you reside in the NBA hinterland. You either have to find a megastar in the draft (see: Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant) or acquire enough quality assets (again, usually through the draft) to turn them into a pillar through a trade.

That explains away the talent imbalance on this roster. Of the five most intriguing Raptors players, four (Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson and Valanciunas) play up front. Logically, it would be very difficult to give all of those players the minutes they need to develop properly. The 2012 draft, as it figures, is particularly heavy on front-court players, which only complicates matters.

“It’s a stacking principle,” Colangelo said. “You want to have guys that are there at various positions, and even if there is [positional] duplication, you can decide which one fits best and move on and possibly move a piece and convert that into something else.”

National Post


DeMar DeRozan averaged 19.9 points per game in 26 games after the all-star break. This was seen as a sign that the Raptors made a good choice with the ninth selection of the 2009 draft.

However, DeRozan still had holes in his game: three-point shooting, ball handling and defence, to name three. DeRozan has expressed comfort with his long-range shot after putting in work on it during the extended off-season; two made three-pointers in the first pre-season game against Boston attested to that.

Still, fans will want to see more before he is anointed a definite part of the future.

Prediction DeRozan will bump up his three-point percentage to a respectable level. His defence will improve, lest Casey bench him. His ball handling will continue to plague him. He will be a Raptor for years to come, but the team will still need an elite playmaker to make a leap to the playoffs in 2012-13.


The Raptors have three small forwards on the roster: James Johnson, Rasual Butler and Linas Kleiza, who is rehabilitating from knee surgery. None of them, based on their careers, can make compelling cases to start.

Johnson has a lot of defensive upside but has a nightmare of a jumper. Butler can shoot, but not do much else. And Kleiza was awful last year before suffering his injury.

Prediction Johnson will emerge as a favourite of Casey, who will take the lessons he learned coaching an aging Shawn Marion and turn Johnson into a poor man’s version of the former all-star.

Laying Dog Sports

Eventual cap space and flexibility is a rough thing to attempt to get behind, much less act cheerful about, but Toronto can at least see the corner to turn around. If GM Bryan Colangelo swallowed his pride and admitted defeat on Andrea Bargnani next summer, shooting the scoring forward a waive under the amnesty clause, Toronto could find itself $30 million under the cap once the rookie contracts are sorted out.

We’re well beyond the risk of sounding fawning regarding Casey, and it’s possible that his strange second place finishes to Vinny Del Negro in both the Chicago and Los Angeles Clippers coaching searches may have trumped up his potential higher than it deserves, but his hiring is akin to a team trading for a top pick from a terrible team that won’t show up until 2012 or 2013. Casey’s a prospect to be stashed away, not unlike Valanciunas or impending cap space, as the Raptors soberly look toward the future.



  • Vancity Raptors

    Is JT’s Hoops Blog for real??
    WTF is that guy talking about?
    “the Raptors will definitely be a force to reckon with this upcoming season”

    • xxx

      i think this was written by P00KA AND CESCO

      • Truthkiller

        LMFAO this comment made my night

      • cesco

        This blogger gave his reasons why he thinks the Raps will be a much improved team this year . He forgot to mention that the injury bug played a huge role in preventing the team of having a better record last season . They have an outside chance to make the playoffs if they can keep up their scoring and an improved defense . DD is thinking playoffs , Andrea want to go to the all-stars game , finally they have a real coach . We do not know yet how much a real coach can improve a team do we ?? .

    • JT’s Hoops Blog

      Read my post and look at the facts I give.  The Raptors are not as terrible as folks think they. Most of the stuff people believe are statistically untrue.  

      • Sheptor

        Ha you removed every comment..funny

      • xxx

        cesco is that you?

      • Triano?

        You blog is the ugliest thing I have ever seen, not to mention completely  absent of any insight.  Let’s just say I won’t be returning to your page.   Go f*** yourself and your ads.   

        • JT’s Hoops Blog

          Wtf r u, like twelve years old? Hiding like a little b1tch behind some pen name.  God you’re pathetic.  The reason I deletted them was that the people were trolling and it wouldn’t have ended if i responded.  Kind of like this thread of you lame a$$es trying to diss me.  

          Why won’t you come up with something insightful your damn four-king self instead of trolling like the like stink a$$ c*nt ur.

    • Jamie_boy

      “the Raptors will definitely be a force to reckon with this upcoming season”


      “the Raptors will definitely be a farce to reckon with this upcoming season”

      • JT’s Hoops Blog

        ooooh very funny.  Did you come w/ that yourself or did you have to copy that from someone else?  Jamie_boy! That’s probably not your real name you lame a$$

  • Jo Calderone

    Why didn’t you post something from The Picket Fence? 

  • FAQ

     I’m soooooo excited the Raptor season starts on Monday…finally NBA b’ball !!!

    I’m sooooo excited that the Raptors are all gonna play DEFENSE really hard !!!

    I’m sooooo excited over Mags on NBA TV saying his #1 Job is DEFENSE !!!

    I’m sooooo excited to watch DEFENSE DEFENSE and more DEFENSE !!!

    I’m sooooo excited that all the Raps are so eager to play DEFENSE !!!

    I don’t even care if they play offence… just DEFENSE !!!

    Raptor DEFENSE Showtime ….YEAAAAAAAH !!!

  • FAQ

     JUST IN !!!!!

    Demar Derozan is gonna change his name to:: DEMAR DEFENZE …!!!!

  • JT’s Hoops Blog

    TYVM or showcasing my post.  I’m telling you right now: all you haters are going to eat your words–especially the losers who were posted along with me.  You’ll see.  And instead of bashing Bargnarni as you haters love to do, by season’s end you’ll kissing his a$$ and sucking on his canoli. 

    • Theswirsky

      aren’t you the same guy who thought Hoffa was good and just never given a chance?

      • JT’s Hoops Blog

        Yes actually I was and I still think that.  You should have seen him when he was at BYU.  The only Mitchel did not play him was because he did not like Rob Babcock.  Add the fact the raptors at the time had a ball hog in jalen Rose, Hoffa never had a chance.  I hear he’s doing pretty well in the Brazillian leagues.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

      People who disagree with you are ‘haters’ how quaint….smdh

      The same AB who quit on the Rap’s post London (flu shot anyone? lol) last season while Amir battled on with 1 good ankle?

      By season’s end Casey will have had enough of AB’s half ass efforts, trust… 

      • JT’s Hoops Blog

        It’s cool if you disagree with me.  At least have solid evidence to back it up.  You people just bash the Raptors for the sake of bashing them.  None of you have one original thought in your head because you just regurgitate what who read or heard. 

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2 Go!!!

          Wow, really now- you sound extra silly now….. 

          • JT’s Hoops Blog

            What’s silly is you dissing with nothing really intelligent to say.  Your dumb a$$ statement proves that I’m right.  

  • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

    In my mind NY, Mia, Chi seemingly have the East on lock for at least 4-5 years to come- barring injuries, when exactly are BC’s Raptors going to contend for a NBA championship- in 5 years? 6 years? 7 years?
    We the fans are being force feed a bunch of bullchit in 2011-12 because of BC’s flawed moves as both Raptors President & GM.
    The Raptors have a serious problem at center- Magloire, Gray, AJohnson (as per Casey) all because BC is catering to AB a 7’1 pussy ass mofo’er who if he was 6’0 feet tall most likely wouldn’t even be playing basketball.
    Another Raptors basketball season with both Jose & Andrea starting- he we go again…….I wonder how long it will be before Andrea makes Casey go insane with his half ass on court efforts because we all know all AB wants to do is shoot the ball 17 times a game for his 20 ppg as a PF this season.smdh
    Rebounding & defense is for peasants (King Barg’s voice).
    I would go small & start:
    and bring AB off of the bench for his scoring but then again this is not a rebuild but a build as per BC- a build to what perpetual NBA Draft Lottery futility ala The TWolves??
    All BC is going to do is acquire talent in the 2012 NBA draft then he will end up trading away some combination of Ed, Amir, DD in order to surround AB with other more complimentary players in his Euro vision of Raptors basketball (Stern’s pet Euro expansion project)- Val, AB, Kleiza, SG, Calderon.

    BC wants to go on a 4 month scouting trip & ‘feels sorry’ for Casey because he knows that this season’s team that he put together stinks as in relation to other playoff contending NBA teams.

    • xxx

      I don’t mind losing games with a starting lineup like that until JV a pointguard and a smallfoward gets here

      • yyy

        2020-21 season maybe??????????

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Exactly, I wouldn’t mind the Rap’s current team situation post CB4 but BC still has both AB & Jose starting for Toronto which nullifies anything he says in the media to the contrary of (re) building for the future.

        Play, start the young guys with the Raptors vets like AB & Jose backing them up- let the chips fall where they may as the kids get NBA starting experience in this throw away 66 game season.

        But BC is still rolling out PG Jose and now PF AB trying to fool TDot basketball fans with his slickery & trickery.smdh

        • CJT

          I couldn’t agree more.  I wish we weren’t giving a guy who led the league in assist to turnover ratio, was 5th in assists and set an NBA record for freethrow percentage minutes.  What an idiot.  Enjoy your leafs. 

          • sek99

            I don’t necessarily agree with BCStefanski but I can’t stand when people defend Calderon with the old “assist to turnover ratio” and “good free-throw percentage”. What has that gotten us with his tenor as a Raptor? Nothing beyond a first round exit. Calderon is 30 and has been given multiple chances. . . he’s just not very good.

          • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!


            I don’t like Hockey, buddy…..

    • JT’s Hoops Blog

      I have to respectfully disagree with.  Again you are just regurgitating stuff that you have like read before.  At least I have statistics and numbers to back up what I say.  What do u have?  JACK $h1t

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2Go!!!

        Poli Sci 101- stats are another way to lie and/or manipulate particulars.

        Check the Rap’s win, loss record w/ Jose as starter post CB4 buddy.lmfao

        • JT’s Hoops Blog

          Check out the differentials in rebounds, turnovers, assists, and blocked shots between the raptors and their opponents last season.  after that STFU.

    • Have an original thought

      Do you have tourets syndrome?  You may remember OKC was in this same position a few years ago.  They seem to have built a pretty good team through the draft. 

      • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2 Go!!!

        Do you see a KD or a Westbrook on our current roster???

        Do you see an All Star, All NBA player on the Rap’s roster?

        OKC this, OKC that- you sound really wack, friend.smdh

        • JT’s Hoops Blog

          Don’t even botgher replying.  this guy is just a f@ckibng hater troll trying to incite people.  Ignore him.

  • p00ka

    lame baiter. don’t give him his jollies

    • UNOHO

      worst team ever….. 0-66

  • Figgy

    Why are you moronic haters constantly here! go post your in infantile diatribe with the puck heads on some Maple leaf fan page…

  • j bean

    I’m hoping Bayless plays the final minutes when games are close. We already know what Jose can do at both ends of the court. Bayless is only going to develop when confidence is shown in him when it counts and he is able to play through his mistakes.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2 Go!!!

      JB should be starting in this 66 game throw away season as we all already know what Jose is- a solid back up who is very injury prone as his minutes are extended as a starter, but have yet to see JB function as the starter for a season.

      JB is a Jose hamstring injury away from being the starter- over under on Jose getting hurt again is 25 games.
      I can’t believe that BC is still starting both AB & Jose in 2011-12: wake up Rap’s fans as we have been bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray by BC’s bullchit!!!

      • JT’s Hoops Blog

        Just another lame hating remark from a loser who wants to get people to reply to his inane drivel.

  • Aaron

    BCSTEF.  you have some issues.  Bayless has been a terrible point guard where ever he has played.  His decision making is terrible and he’s played with two really good point guards in Portland and New Orleans.  If your arguement is that BC is crazy for not giving Bayless the starting job then your sounding crazy.  You just don’t like BC and are looking for reasons to get agree over.  BC track record speaks for itself good and bad.  Hopefully for our sake he makes some more good moves in the future but not starting Bayless isn’t a mistake.  Bayless is a terrible point guard and plays better as an attacking two guard.   THe problem is that barbosa is a much better player then Bayless.  Untill Bayless improves his point guard play I would play him as back up and pump him up to play defense.  His play has been awful in preaseason.

    • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2 Go!!!

      Why don’t you stop trying to analyze me and analyze the Raptors current predicament-

      Bayless played well the final 18 games of last season as the starter- did he not, but we would know for certain what we have in him if he started this season as the Rap’s are headed to the NBA Lottery anyway- what’s there to lose?

      Bayless is a scoring point guard………why did BC trade JJack for him again then?

      The preseason was only 2 games, buddy…lmfao

      Both BC & Casey have been stressing defense but starting both Jose & AB- oxymoron, we don’t believe you- you need more people.

      • p00ka

        The records say he only started 7 of the last 8 games, but you keep going with the “18”. You say he did well. How did the team do?  Any improvement in the W/L record, even though playing against teams playing out the string? The final game, they lost by 18 to Miami with a starting line-up of Bibby, House, James Jones, Anthony, Big Z. Bayless was top scorer though!!! And we can forget his 5 TOs to 4 Asts. Impressive how well they did without the dead weight of AB and JC. Magloire only got 19 RBs against big Ed

        • BCStefanskiCaseyGots2 Go!!!

          JB started 14 games last season- 18 was wrong.

          When he started games his #s were better than when he came off of the bench- fact.

          This year’s Raptors team is NBA Lottery bound in 2012 no matter who the starting pg is but if you’re building for the future might as well start the 23 year old to see what you have in him   over a larger sample of games and not reguirgitate the 30 year old inot the starting line up- especially when defense is being preached in training camp (once again).

  • DryDry

    “Oh and I would like to mention that Toronto is the first North American city to put on 3D ads on their court, video of that will come soon and it’s pretty wild to see. That’s how important basketball is in Toronto, talking about ads…”

    The 3D ads along the baseline are BULLSHIT. They’re distracting and disorienting when you watch the game. get the hell rid of ’em

  • Himalayanjava

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